A Bayfield resident is wasting no time working toward independence after severing his spinal cord in an accident.
Jason Henry severely hurt his back while working underneath his Dodge Ramcharger on Aug. 27.
He was sitting up underneath the car when it popped out of gear. The axle caught him behind the head, forcing his upper body forward and forcing his lower vertebrae out of place. Doctors were able to bring the spine back into alignment, but the spinal cord cannot be repaired.
He is undergoing intensive rehabilitation at Craig Hospital, a center for spinal cord and traumatic brain injury victims in Englewood.
“Some days are rough mentally, just coming to terms with everything,” he said in a phone interview.
But the rehabilitation has helped him see a light at the end of the tunnel because it focuses on preparing him to live independently again.
Every day he works on relearning the small details in life like getting dressed and moving from a chair to bed without the use of his legs.
“I’m getting a little better, a little stronger every day,” he said.
On average, patients stay at Craig Hospital for 55 days, and he has about 40 days to go.
Before the accident Henry was in good shape, which has helped expedite his recovery, said his father, Brett Henry, a former Durango resident.
“He has really come a long way in a short period of time,” he said.
Jason Henry has plans to go back to work for Lon’s Automotive in Bayfield doing online sales and inventory and plans to live in his home in Bayfield.
The Upper Pine River Fire Protection District has volunteered to install a ramp at his home to help make his transition possible.
Fire Chief Bruce Evans responded to the accident scene and offered to help modify Henry’s home because he wanted to make sure Henry knows there is life after a catastrophic injury.
“We’re trying to make sure he can remain in the community,” Evans said.
Henry’s family and friends have also set up two funds to help him cover medical expenses and transportation.